April 07, 2002

Cathode "The World & Back"

This little record is an excellent example of how modern recording techniques have seemingly made record-making easy. Anyone with a little bit of skill and a computer and some keyboards can now make their own music, and though this style isn't necessarily my preferred form of music, I can't discount it when it's good. Cathode is from England, and that's about all I can gather from this little record...there's no listing of personnel, and I really wouldn't be surprised if Cathode were a one-man project.

Not that these things matter, really. The sound of The World and Back is, indeed, electronic. With a little bit of ambient thrown in, the bleeps and blips of Cathode could easily be confused with such artists as Autechre. There's a danger of similarity when dealing with electronic music, and, of course, that may be the point; setting aside genres and originality to focus on making head music seems to be the point with a lot of the nameless/faceless techno and electronica groups today.

The World and Back starts off nicely, with "Afterchord," a nice little beat-driven tune, with a slight Twin Peaks-style melody line thrown in, making it a haunting little number. The song fades in to "Known Undesirables," which slows down the pace and goes for a more ambient feel. "The World and Back" follows, and, for some reason, I hear variations on the basic melody of Guns 'n' Roses' "Sweet Child O'Mine"--which, while probably not intended, is a nice little diversion. The final track, "Glascow Suburban Electrification" proves to be the big finish, pumping in a nonstop, relentless beat, but it ends way too soon.

While not necessarily my particlar style of music, the homemade sounds of The World and Back have, at least for the time being, proven a nice little musical excursion. Sometimes I just gotta put on my dancing shoes. Cathode are enjoyable makers of intelligent dance music, and you won't dislike this likeable little record one bit.

--Joseph Kyle

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